Success Stories

Gobi-Altai Aimag. Citizens Participation Improves Quality of Goods and Services

Though discussions about having local citizens participate more in local procurement regularly take place, little progress has been made. Either citizens are not interested in taking a more active role or they lack crucial information and knowledge about procurement processes. In addition to that, government organizations don’t have the motivation or skills to educate citizens on procurement matters.

Photo 1: Kindergarten cooks improve their skills in the training in Yesunbulag soum, Gobi-Altai aimag

Mercy Corps' iCOGS project selected Unelemj Altai LLC from Gobi-Altai aimag to help local citizens learn more about public procurement and participate in a procurement process.

Unelemj Altai LLC worked on the two most common procurement activities: supplying food for kindergartens and construction of a hot shower house for local residents. They decided to meet with all stakeholders in the procurement chain: buyers of products and services, selected suppliers and beneficiaries.

A series of questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussions were held with all of the stakeholders. It was discovered that soum governors lacked the skills to plan, implement and monitor the procurement process. They had no idea how to properly assess and select the best bidders and they couldn’t facilitate quality control of supplied goods and services. Moreover, the local community was hardly informed and didn’t take part in the assessment and monitoring of procurement activities.

Photo 2 : Unelemj Altai is reviewing bidding documents.

After implementing this short survey, Unelemj Altai provided trainings on monitoring methodologies to soum residents. Then, the project team mobilized the training participants to conduct monitoring of food supply to kindergartens and the implementation of bath house construction projects. Also, the project team organized training for kindergarten teachers, suppliers and parents on Food Safety. At the end of the project, Unelemj Altai shared the monitoring results with the public and developed recommendation for the government and suppliers on how to increase joint control and accountability.

This short, two months project had a very positive impact. It proved that partnership between government, CSOs and the private sector can be mutually beneficial, improve quality of goods and services and increase efficiency of public spending.

Undarmaa, the Governor of Yesunbulag soum: "We are very happy that Mercy Corps in partnership with Unelemj Altai LLC assisted us in monitoring procurement activities in our soum. This project helped us to discover the most common violations during procurement activities. We will follow all recommendations provided by Mercy Corps. Thank you very much."

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